It is a difficult scenario to face when unkind words from others enter into our space, whether it be a feeling, a thought or a spoken expression. There is first a sadness and shock that sweeps over us and then we are placed into a defensive mode as we want to stand up for ourselves. As I have struggled with unkindness there have been times that I listen to the words over and over, I tumble them around in my mind incessantly because they hurt and the truth is that the dagger just goes deeper and deeper. These become intrusions into the soul that we carry with us throughout our life. Not letting go of them, they can be the foundation of a disease of the mind, body and spirit. If we defend ourselves we give those words more power and they continue to create harm to our psyche. The enemy or the competition only exists if we believe that it exists. I think of a scene with a martial arts guy who comes flying into a room moving all of his arms around and flipping swords and kicking legs in a most energetic display of force and before him stands a simple man with no outward display of defending himself other than a few blinks of an eye. What happens? All the power dissipates and the scene returns to nothingness. If we hold on to the conflict and to the words we are pulling out our swords to defend ourselves and the energy never goes away. Now when an unkind thought comes my way, I acknowledge it, show consideration for the source and I thank the universe for the “heads up” that I do not need that person’s energy in my space. I blink and move on to a kinder and gentler space.